Brit vocalist's album is 2011's biggest hit

Adele’s “21” — the year’s most consistent seller as well as its biggest hit — returned to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart for a 12th nonconsecutive frame last week.

The Columbia collection attained the feat with a 76,000-unit week (off just 8%), according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Aug. 7.

The Brit vocalist’s album, which has returned to the pinnacle half a dozen times since its March chart debut, is the first to log a dozen frames at the top since Santana’s “Supernatural” turned the trick in 1999-2000. At its current clip, “21” should top the 3 million sales mark before August is out.

However, in the coming week Adele will undoubtedly have to step aside again, as the Throne — rap icons Jay-Z and Kanye West — will debut their mega-collaboration “Watch the Throne.” Album, which has been selling exclusively via iTunes since Monday, is expected to sell as many as 500,000 units its first week.

“Chief” (Capitol Nashville), Eric Church’s No. 1 entry last week, dropped to No. 2; the singer moved 53,000 (off 63%). Church was joined by fellow country star Trace Adkins, whose “Proud to Be Here” (Show Dog) bowed at No. 3 with a 47,000-unit week. Adkins’ album matched the 2006 chart peak of his “Dangerous Man.”

Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney entered the top 10 for the first time with “Young Love” (Universal Republic), which debuted at No. 4 behind a 44,000-unit stanza.

Columbia’s soundtrack for Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” bowed at No. 5 with 41,000; series features tween star Victoria Justice.

Week’s other new entry was the R&B comp “Slow Grind,” which settled in at No. 9 with 32,000 sold. Set is one of two titles from the Sony-distributed indie Razor & Tie in the top 10: Its “Kidz Bop 20″ sat at No. 7 for the week (36,000 sold, off 5%).

The top 10 was filled out by Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” (No. 6, 41,000, off 1%), Beyonce’s “4” (No. 8, 34,000, down 16%) and Blake Shelton’s “Red River Blues” (No. 10, 26,000, off 17%).

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